From The MetroWines Book Review Department
With well-told stories and stunning photography, author Heather Hebert
features the architecture of 25 California wineries in her alluring new book.
As wine tourism has increased, California vintners created splendid spaces where visitors can taste their wines and enjoy conversations. In place of imitating old-world European estates, grand architectural statements or quirky forays into bohemianism, the new architecture of wine has evolved into a celebration of California’s topography, agricultural heritage, historic architectural vernacular,
and forward-thinking passion for sustainability and design.
The 25 wineries featured in The New Architecture of Wine, all built within
the last ten years, include buildings designed by top architects Juancarlos Fernandez and Howard Backen, among others. These wineries form an authentic expression of passion for the land and its heritage—an homage to California.
But the future is not just a new style of California architecture,
it's also a new style of California wine. A brief review of some of the new
California Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs shows that the style is shunning the ultraripe, high-octane wines to which California staked a claim.
The number of producers dedicated to "real" and terroir transparency has grown exponentially in just a few years. Even commercial wineries are scaling
back sugar ripeness and adding sugar as well as dialing down the new oak.
Raj Parr, one of the winemakers leading the charge, says:
"Every important wine has a strong sense of will behind it,
and every serious winery shares a desire to find a deeper knowledge
of their vineyards; to discover the beauty that lies within the balance
between the grape, soil and microclimate.
In my regular travels to the best wine regions of the world,
I have also included forays into less well-known appellations.
Tasting at both pedigreed domaines and modest cellars,
has led me to appreciate, equally, wines meant for the well-heeled cellar
as well as wines best drunk early and appreciated for their immediacy. I have discovered that what is consistent in all the wines I admire
is the importance of minimal intervention: growing healthy,
balanced grapes without the use of chemicals and making
and bottling wines without manipulation."
All that said, Your "Read it With Wine" is:
Donkey & Goat
Jared and Tracey Brandt in Berkeley, California
The Gallivanter Red Blend, $25
Donkey & Goat Winery is owned and operated by Jared and Tracey Brandt
in Berkeley, California. We make “natural wines” which is a term that covers both
the vineyard and the cellar. That is what distinguishes natural wine– the extension
of natural farming philosophies that drive the practices for sustainable,
natural & biodynamic farming into the cellar.
Different every year depending on quality of the grapes, the blend tends to be a heavy percentage of Pinot Noir with Grenache and Mourvedre, Merlot and Syrah. Under 1000 cases made which makes this their greatest produced quantity for any wine. The 2017 offers candied fruits with fresh strawberry and raspberry, pomegranate, naval orange, citrus oils, pine, leaves and Asian spice box.